Plant Based Mum Blog

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5 Life Lessons I Hope To Teach My Children

As a parent there are many things you wish to teach your children. From those first steps, manners and their ABC’s, to counting, cooking and life’s big questions there’s plenty of diverse educational moments along the way. It got me thinking what are some of the key things I would want to teach my children, even if it were advice for when they were a little older? Well, I came up with my personal top five - and here they are:

1. Don’t ever apologise for being you

In life you may run into individuals who think they know you better than you know yourself. Who think you’ll listen when they say you can’t do something. Who try to persuade you to do something you don’t want to do. Who give you the feeling they never believe in you. Who may call you names behind your back (or even sometimes to your face). Well, I’m here to tell you that those people usually don’t know s**t! You can do anything you set your mind to, and you can be anything you want to be. Your body, your mind, your rules. Be proud of yourself - you do you!  

2. Let Go and Let God

When life brings you down, or something hasn’t quite gone your way, let go and let God. Your problems are never too big for God.  If there is something troubling you, or you just don’t know what to do next, know that God (and mummy and daddy) are there for you. You can tell us anything - and I mean anything -and we will be there for you unconditionally. You are never alone in this life.

3. Trust Your Intuition

That little voice (or feeling) that tells you there’s something not right about something, or someone, is there for a reason. It’s called intuition. And it is usually (almost always) right about a person or situation. If you get a funny feeling remember it is always your choice to say ‘no’. You never have to do something you don’t want to, or give someone an answer straight away - you can always say “I’ll think about it” or “I’ll ask Mum or Dad”. If you’re ever unsure of this feeling, or why you might be getting it, make sure you talk to mummy and/or daddy and they (we) will help you.

4.  Respect Begets Respect

As I get older it never ceases to amuse me to hear someone who is themselves very disrespectful - or just plain self-absorbed in their behaviour - harp on about respect. There’s always that old school of thought “respect your elders” - to which I say no, not necessarily. If someone does not show you respect whether they are older than you or not - or worse, who’s actions may put you in danger - that’s wrong. There’s also too many parents that demand respect from their little ones without giving it back - or more importantly without teaching them how to be respectful themselves. I have always been a believer in the fact that respect is earned, that it goes both ways. So, respect those who respect you, and gracefully ignore those who don’t. It’s not a given that ones idea of respect will be the same as yours, so always act with grace and if you find yourself faced with individuals that are rude, unkind or disrepectful of your wishes (especially if it happens on multiple occasions), simply act with grace until you no longer have to see that person. In the unfortunate event that you are dealing with someone you see on a regular basis (whether a family member, or otherwise), who fails to show respect then I recommend practicing mindfulness in their presence and know that tomorrow is another day. 

5.  Always Treat Yourself With Kindness

We only get one life to live. Always treat yourself with kindness. You don’t always have to say ‘yes’ to plans - especially if you are in need of a rest - take time out and take it easy when you need to. Treat your body and mind well - make sure you nourish yourself with delicious real food everyday, drink lots of water, and get a good nights rest. Think positively about yourself - there are so many people out there who love you and believe in you (mummy and daddy especially are your biggest fans!) - you’ve got this! 

There are plenty more things on my list to teach my little ones, but these are the top five ‘life lessons’ that spring to my mind. There’s always the day to day learnings and milestones (such as walking, brushing teeth, potty training), but to me it is important to also teach on a more spiritual level as well. I am forever in awe of the people that my little ones are becoming and I am forever grateful to be by their side as they continue to learn and grow.

What are some of the teachings you’d like to pass on to your littles? 

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The Fun and the Chaos of Two under Two

My daughter - my first born baby - recently turned two and my son - my second born baby - will soon be five months, I still can’t believe it! I’m not sure where that time went. It feels like I only had my daughter yesterday, and yet here I am as a Mum who has enjoyed the fun, the sweet moments and the chaos that comes with having two under two. 

It has been so sweet to watch my girl become a big sister - chatting away to her brother, giving him cuddles and adoring him since the day we came home from the hospital. And it’s just as sweet to see my baby boy smiling back at his sister, and now laughing with her and trying to babble back as he get’s older.  

Admittedly, the adjustment for me was tough at first (and it probably was for my first born too) particularly in those first few weeks. But, once we found our groove as a now family of four, we relished our new normal.

So, to those mammas (and dadas!) thinking about - or about to be in the trenches with - two under two, here are some of my learnings:

Prepare in advance 

This goes beyond preparing for your new baby’s arrival in the usual way - you know the drill...new baby clothes, setting up the crib and stocking up on those newborn nappies. Help your toddler to prepare in advance by talking to your toddler about the baby (you may think they cannot understand, especially if they do not have a large vocabulary, but believe me they do!). You can help to make this big change such a special and exciting time for them. Chat to your toddler about your ever expanding belly during the pregnancy, read books together about a new baby and even get your toddler some baby dolls and toy baby products so that they can play ‘mummy’ too!

Be Gentle On Yourself Postpartum

Mamma, take your time in the fourth trimester and enlist the help of your tribe to allow you, Dad, baby and toddler the time to bond. It’s important for you, and the journey you’ve just been through bringing baby into the world, to be gentle on yourself as you heal after the birth, as you bond with baby, and as you bond as a growing family. 

Toddlers Tend To Love Familiarity 

If your toddler has a routine (even if it’s quite loose), do your best to stick to that. Baby will easily adapt to your toddlers routine, not so much the other way around! By maintaining your toddlers routine as much as possible it will give them the familiarity they crave - which is especially important with this big change in their little life. At the end of the day, you know your babies best, and what will work best for them.

Quality One on One Time 

Carve out some one on one time to spend with your toddler. This is important for both Mum and Dad to achieve. Your toddler is used to being the centre of attention - and not in a bad way, that’s just what they are used to as there was only one of them! It fills everyone’s cup to have some real quality one on one time with each child in the family. Maybe Mum can have some one on one time playing toys with toddler while baby takes a morning nap, and Dad can have some one on one time when he gets home from work (or even early in the morning before work if your toddler is an early riser). On the weekend Mum can take toddler shopping while Dad is with baby, and then Dad can take toddler to the pool for a swim while Mum is with baby. 

Enjoy Time Together As A Family 

Enjoy plenty of family outings together - from a day at the museum, to a road trip getaway, to a simple afternoon at the park - it’s fun for everyone, it helps toddler and baby to bond, and you’ll create some great family memories along the way.

With a whole lot of love and a go-with-the-flow attitude it is possible to survive and thrive with two under two.

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